Singapore Airlines denies snooping with seatback cameras

Travelers took to social media to raise the alarm over the cameras at the bottom of seatback screens on a number of the Singapore flag carrier’s newer aircraft. (Supplied)
Updated 21 February 2019
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Singapore Airlines denies snooping with seatback cameras

  • Outcry online from worried passengers who spotted the tiny lenses peering at them
  • The airline confirmed that some of its latest inflight entertainment systems did have fixed cameras — but assured passengers that they had been disabled

SINGAPORE: Singapore Airlines insisted Thursday that cameras on its planes’ entertainment systems had been disabled after an outcry online from worried passengers who spotted the tiny lenses peering at them.
Travelers took to Twitter and other social media to raise the alarm over the cameras at the bottom of seatback screens on a number of the Singapore flag carrier’s newer aircraft.
“Just found this interesting sensor looking at me from the seat back on board of Singapore Airlines. Any expert opinion of whether is a camera?” passenger Vitaly Kamluk tweeted.
His tweet was accompanied by photos of the monitor with the embedded camera.
Another passenger urged the airline in a tweet to “notify all your passengers and get their consent, particularly EU residents, that you are doing this, why, what are you doing with the data and how long you keep it.”
The airline confirmed that some of its latest inflight entertainment systems did have fixed cameras — but assured passengers that they had been disabled.
“These cameras have been intended by the manufacturers for future developments. These cameras have been permanently disabled on our aircraft and cannot be activated on board,” the airline said in a statement.
“We have no plans to enable or develop any features using the cameras.”


Egypt inks deal with Cyprus for power link to Europe

Updated 23 May 2019
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Egypt inks deal with Cyprus for power link to Europe

  • It is estimated the project will take 36 months to implement from the start of construction, with the lowest point 3,000 meters below sea-level
  • Phase 1 will see the interconnector carry a capacity of 1,000 MW which can be upgraded to 2,000 MW at a later stage

NICOSIA: Egypt has signed a deal with a Cypriot firm to lay a 310-kilometer (195-mile) cable under the Mediterranean to export electricity to Europe, the company said on Thursday.
Nicosia-based EuroAfrica described the deal, worth an estimated two billion euros, as a “landmark.”
“Cyprus now becomes a major hub for the transmission of electricity from Africa to Europe,” said company chairman Ioannis Kasoulides.
It is estimated the project will take 36 months to implement from the start of construction, with the lowest point 3,000 meters below sea-level.
Phase 1 will see the interconnector carry a capacity of 1,000 MW which can be upgraded to 2,000 MW at a later stage.
“The national electricity grid of Egypt will be linked to the European electricity system through Cyprus and will contribute to energy security,” Kasoulides said.
Following the crises in Crimea and eastern Ukraine, the EU has been keen to develop alternative sources of energy to reduce its dependence on imports from Russia.
In the past year, gas has started flowing from four major new fields off Egypt’s Mediterranean coast, and output is already sufficient to meet domestic needs.
The Arab world’s most populous country is now seeking to develop the infrastructure to export its newfound energy wealth, both as liquefied natural gas and as electricity.
Egypt is also seeking to import gas from fields off Cyprus and Israel to boost the profitability of the new liquefaction and export facilities it is developing on its Mediterranean coast.
In September, Egypt signed a deal with Cyprus to build an undersea pipeline to pump Cypriot offshore gas to Egypt for processing for export to Europe.
The plans have led to closer eastern Mediterranean ties, with Cyprus, Egypt, Greece and Israel holding regular high-level meetings.